Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Tre F. Lee


Thesis Statement

This exhibit represents the mental state of slavery that our technology has us in. We as people are in Warfare for our own intellectual property (our minds). Our phones have us looking down everywhere we go, the television has no limits as to what it exposes our youth to, and social media is an addictive terror that has brainwashed everyone into thinking they can fake their own lives to be something more than what it really is. If that doesn’t sound like slavery, then i don’t know what is. This exhibit is not only something I believe we as people can overcome if we put down the technology, but it is something that I had to overcome to be happy with who I am. 

To create this body of work, I used Adobe photoshop. I plan to have them printed on paper that is 11x17 and frame them as a series of posters. The bodies that represent each design will have the same color as the technology device it is attached to. I created it this way to show how not only are we slaves to our devices, but we are slowly becoming dependent on functioning through them. It took a while to figure out how to create the figures. I started out wanting to create people that look like the icon you see when you log in to a computer, but it didn’t capture the essence of what I was trying to portray. Instead I went with a style that came from one of my favorite music artists.

Pharrell used to have this group named N.E.R.D. With an album cover that portrayed this animated character that looked like himself. It was simple, easy to look at and easy to understand. I chose this style of character as part of my project. Started off by doing lots of research on the effects of technology on society, then I did a form of “method acting” where I became that person through the pandemic. I was constantly on my phone, I binge watched my favorite shows, and attached myself to social media as if it were a lifeline, thinking I had to experience these things to understand them. However, my most success came from observation. I was able to explain how technology has affected us, simply by people watching. Inspiration for this project came from McKinsey Global Institute’s theory of ‘12 disruptive technologies’. The McKinsey Global Institute was established in 1990 to develop a deeper understanding of the evolving global economy. It is run by Chairman and Director James Manyika. According to, disruptive technologies are considered technological advances that will change life, business, and the global economy. There was a report from the McKinsey Global Institute that identifies 12 technologies that could drive truly massive economic transformations and disruptions in the coming years. These 12 things include, mobile internet, automated knowledge of work, internet of things, cloud, robotics, autonomous vehicles, advanced genomics, energy storage, 3D printing, advanced materials, oil & gas exploration, and renewable energy (

  • This project discusses the intersection between reality and technology. It intentionally perpetuates and describes a dramatized approach on how technology is changing our lives (not for the better). We are becoming slaves to our technology and if we’re not careful as a society, those machines will control us instead of us controlling them. It is a graphic ad comprised of 11 designs showing what we are allowing to consume us. Phones, Television, social media, weapons, artificial intelligence, Wi-Fi, cloud storage, satellites, cryptocurrencies, cameras, and laptops. The inspiration from this project came from McKinsey Global Institutes’ theory of ‘12 disruptive technologies’. Its design is inspired by Pharrell’s group N.E.R.D.’s album cover. I took those two ideas and literally combined them. The animated characters are literally turning becoming disruptive technologies. Fashion was also a big inspiration for this project. Although it is animated, I still wanted each figure to have something that’s wearable. Thinking of them as sketches to an actual design.  No one in particular inspires me fashion-wise, but to get my own creative thoughts out of my head was the goal. This project allows you to think about how much you utilize technology and figure out what ways you can limit its use. There’s nothing wrong with using technology, but when it comes to a point of handicap (where you can’t remember phone numbers, you don’t go outside anymore, and you find yourself looking down at a dinner table instead of conversing), there’s a problem. My goal is to make people aware of what this society is changing into.